This book is smart and beautiful, and I enjoyed it all the way through.
It's about a young woman in Dublin, and her life. And she's smart and funny. T...moreThis book is smart and beautiful, and I enjoyed it all the way through.
It's about a young woman in Dublin, and her life. And she's smart and funny. This book follows her life, as she's becoming a grown-up, and discovers more about herself, and the past, and what it's like to be followed by suspicious people.
If you enjoy horror, stories of revenge, and Do you enjoy Shakespeare re-tellings and adaptations, Then I recommend this book.
'Polly Mazlowczy has ret...more If you enjoy horror, stories of revenge, and Do you enjoy Shakespeare re-tellings and adaptations, Then I recommend this book.
'Polly Mazlowczy has returned from a fictitious conflict in North Korea a changed woman. Just how changed, her strange and insular family and the people of an isolated Midwestern town are about to discover. The Other Daughter is a revenge tragedy of the old school given a modern twist.'
I can tell you that the Shakespeare plot is that of Titus Andronicus, so I knew it would get gory and horrible. Now you know too.
I really enjoyed this book. I like Polly, who has come back home to wreak revenge. I liked Suchin, her smart sarcastic girlfriend. And I liked the very dark humour.
I had to take long breaks, because while I enjoyed the book, I am not a fan of horror, and I had to pause when I had had enough of gore, or when I suspected a particularly gruesome thing would come up. But I kept coming back to it, because I liked the book, and wanted to know what Polly and Suchin would do, and what would happen to them.
SPOILERS . . . . .
I like how you do not get details of the abuse and horror, it is just left to the imagination. That cellar is very creepy.
(I got a bit confused by a bit where Jenny walks on her own - I thought Sim and Bi had eaten her feet. Creepy terrifying golden bastards. Turned out they had only taken her hands and tongue).(less)
recently finished reading 'Esau' by Meir Shalev, in hebrew.
It seems to be out of print in translation, while other books by the same writer are in p...more recently finished reading 'Esau' by Meir Shalev, in hebrew.
It seems to be out of print in translation, while other books by the same writer are in print. It puzzled me. It is a very Israeli book, though. Maybe it doesn't quite work in other cultures.
I only realised this when after my recent re-reading I went to look online for reactions to it and such - okay, what really wanted was annotations - and I found a review from a USAnian magazine, which had got details wrong ...
1. The naarator's name is not Esau. I mean, the parents are Abraham and Sarah, the children are twins and the naarator's twin is named Jacob; In the bible the twins were Esau and Jacob. But a Jewish family would not name their child 'Esau'. 'Esau' is the foreigner, the other. The naarator is never named in the text, but from context, his name is probably Isaac.
2. The naarator's nephew dies in the army, as a soldier, but *not* in a war. Jacob, the nephew's father, is quite bitter about it. There is, or was, a ranking of dead soldiers - and the code phrases on their official military tombstones - 'fell in battle' is best, 'fell in the line of duty' is not as good. It is not a good thing, but it is a thing.
And like that.
This book is comfort reading to me: it's about a dysfunctional family in Israel where one of the two children leaves and goes to live abroad. And he's a bespectacled book-worm.
The other thing like about it is very rich language, very lush descriptions -- including lush descriptions of stench and poverty.
And there are casual and not-so-casual droppings of quotes from books -Books!- this person has a world made of books, and the world of people is slightly less real than the books, sometimes. Or possibly less true. I was looking for a source that identifies the books and the sources of quotes, but had not found one.(less)
I enjoyed reading this book. There are short chapters discussing the history and origin of words and their origins and how they are related.
It's ente...moreI enjoyed reading this book. There are short chapters discussing the history and origin of words and their origins and how they are related.
It's entertaining and often witty.
I even enjoyed disagreeing with the explanation of 'the exception proves the rule', because I liked the other explanation I had heard better.
I was amused by the worry expressed at an old 'porpoise pudding' recipe - it's just a sausage.
I didn't enjoy the casual sexism, for instance, the word 'cynic' is linked to dogs, therefore cynical women are all bitches, haha. Not saying that the writer or the editor or all the people who made this book are misogynists, just -- it's part of the culture and it gets in everything and sometimes I notice and I hate it. There is a little of it, it popped up here and there.
I liked the set-up of damaged grownups helping damaged teenagers.
There are a couple of people who have reversals of usual gender-tropes: there's a gi...moreI liked the set-up of damaged grownups helping damaged teenagers.
There are a couple of people who have reversals of usual gender-tropes: there's a girl who is bright and strong but emotionally cold (Finesse), there's a boy who is sweet and vulnerable (Reptil).
I liked the art by Mike McKone.
This is the first time I have read something with Tigra in it. And I kept thinking: Is that what she's wearing? Really? It made it very hard to take her seriously, though she seemed to be an intelligent and compassionate character. She's smart and brave and strong and... sexy cat/woman of orange fur wearing a bikini. Because that is what a teacher wears. So apparently I have opinions about that.
I liked that the grownups are not magically ~all better now~! That they're still dealing with their own damage while trying to deal with the kids.
And I like that the kids, though they've all had to deal with Norman Osborn, each react differently.